Our report looks at the characteristics, experiences, and beliefs of North American ex-Muslims, based on a first-of-its-kind survey.
about the survey
The Apostate Report is a first-of-its-kind survey exploring the characteristics, experiences, and beliefs of North American ex-Muslims, sampled from communities throughout the United States and Canada.
View some of the most notable and striking findings from the Apostate Report below.
Respondents are young, more male than female, and diverse in their backgrounds.'
Immigrants and Origins
The great majority of respondents are first-generation immigrants to North America, and most of the rest are children of immigrants.
Respondents are highly educated. The overwhelming majority possess college degrees, and more hold graduate degrees than Americans hold college degrees of any kind.
Age of Apostasy
Respondents left Islam early in life. Apostasy most often occurred when respondents were in their twenties and rarely after the age of 40.
Period of Questioning
For most respondents, leaving religion was a long and protracted process. For almost two-thirds, the process took several years.
Reasons for Apostasy
Respondents exhibit a wide range of motivations for leaving Islam behind—but nearly all express a fundamental discontent with doctrines and practices in Islam.
In and Out of the Closet
The majority of respondents are closeted to at least some of their family and friends, but are open to others. A small few are completely closeted.
Respondents experienced a variety of negative repercussions after their apostasy, most notably verbal abuse, emotional manipulation, and loss of relationships. On almost every measure, fully open apostates experienced more severe consequences.
Life After Islam
After leaving the faith, the majority of respondents experienced some degree of difficulty adjusting to religiously prohibited activities such as alcohol consumption and interaction with the opposite sex.
Respondents’ social and political views often became more progressive after apostasy, with the majority skewing strongly to the left.
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Explore brief articles on the survey that unearth deeper insights into its results—and what it means to be an ex-Muslim in North America.
What it's Like to be an Ex-Muslim Immigrant
In some key ways, US-born Muslims seem to embrace their identities as Muslims to a greater extent than immigrants.
The Ideas "Poisoning" Young Muslim Minds
Islamic religious and political leaders see a world of faith and tradition in danger of slipping away to malignant external factors, perpetrated by insidious actors hostile to political Islam—or even the doctrines of Islam itself.
The Politics of Apostasy
Islam stands at a unique intersection of the Western culture wars, and ex-Muslims are caught between a rock and a hard place.
The Afterimage of Patriarchy
No matter the tradition, religious oppression always seems to weigh heaviest on women.
Religion, against Piglets and for Nothing
Our recent survey of more than 550 ex-Muslims contributes to a growing body of literature which suggests that – if nothing else – traditional religions are extremely effective at prohibiting particular palates.
Where outspoken apostates in the Middle East escape execution, lynching, imprisonment, and assault, they are regularly sent to hospitals – for mental treatment. The Western commentariat is complicit in the persecution.
10 Myths about Ex-Muslims
Ex-Muslims are a large, diverse, and growing population, particularly in the West. At the same time, they are frequently glossed over, forgotten about, overlooked, and rendered invisible.